Ten Things Every Muslim Should
Do By Yahiya Emerick
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, June 16, 2012
American convert and writer, Yahiya Emerick, suggests ten easy things that
every Muslim family can do to contribute to the betterment of Muslims and
the establishment of Islam in the West.
I've often been confronted with people who are really motivated to do
something for Islam, but who were aimless. You know what I'm talking about.
Sometimes we are so filled with feelings of wanting to help but we don't
really know where to begin.
Doesn't it seem like there's just too much that needs to be done? Muslims
are starving in war zones all over the world, kings and dictators rape our
lands, misinformation about Islam is rampant, our children are succumbing to
the non-Muslim way of life, maybe half our family members don't practice
Islam, even if they say they're Muslim, the Masjid needs funds, Muslims need
to be taught the difference between what's Islam and what's cultural, etc...
I'm sure many of you could add endlessly to this list. Have you ever felt
like the problems are just too great to solve? Have you ever blocked it out
of your mind because if you really thought about it you would become
depressed? If so, then you're not alone. I've met tons of believers, real
sincere people, who lament that they don't know what to do or how they can
Of course, there are some people who will make one specific issue their
focus and they'll work to help in that direction. For example, someone might
make the support of the local Masjid their cause. Another person may support
whole-heartedly an Islamic school or the activities of a relief agency,
etc... But most of us don't have time to do justice to those types of goals
like we should.
But the alternative, sitting at home and watching TV is hardly worth our
time when there are real Muslims out there who need us, and a cause that we
must support. So in view of all the variables that affect most of our lives
in the modern world, I've come up with a list of ten easy things that every
Muslim family should do so that they can contribute to the betterment of
Muslims and the establishment of Islam in the West.
Anyone can do these ten things and I've selected activities that are not
overly time-consuming, nor expensive. I expect that you'll agree and will
tape a print out of these ten "to do's" to your refrigerator door. (Before
grabbing that snack you can be reminded about what is more important than
filling your belly!)
#1 Sponsor an Orphan
Before anything else, there are hungry Muslim children everywhere who have
needs right now. There are several reputable relief agencies who offer
orphan sponsorship programs that only cost from $20-$40 a month. You and I
know that's nothing expensive on your part - so do it. Some agencies even
offer automated withdrawal so you can send a letter once with a voided check
and never have to fill anything out again. Doing this can make you close to
the Prophet in Paradise.
#2 Subscribe to at least three Muslim magazines
This is practically the only way you can keep abreast of issues important to
the Muslims in the West. It also supports the budding Muslim media. Even if
you don't intend to read the magazines, subscribe anyway. Someone around you
will read or you can leave them with others. Make it at least three and try
to subscribe for 2-3 years at a time.
#3 Go to the Masjid at least once a week for Salah
In the West today, nearly all of us have a Masjid within driving distance.
Even if you don't go to the local Masjid for Jumu'ah because of your job,
then go for at least one Maghrib a week or for Zuhr on Sunday. Whatever,
just go at least once a week- WITH YOUR FAMILY. It's the only way that you
and your family will consider the Masjid to be your place.
#4 Give your children an Islamic Education
If your children go to public school, and there is no Islamic school nearby,
then make sure they either get into some Sunday school program, or, if the
local Masjid doesn't run it right, then pool together with some like-minded
families and run your own program at somebody's house every Saturday or
Sunday and conduct it the way you think it should be done. This is the
minimum requirement for not losing your children to secular Christianity.
#5 Buy books, cassettes and videos on Islam
Buy at least one book, audio or video produced by a Muslim company or author
per month. Have you ever wished that there were better items for you and
your family's pleasure? Unfortunately, Muslims don't support their own
writers and artists very well. No one can make even a decent living if they
want to write or produce for the Muslim market. That must change if you want
to see wonderful products for you and your children. Just buy one thing per
month. Either out of a catalog or from your local Muslim bookstore. For you
it's only $5-$10 bucks, but collectively, it can encourage our creative and
talented brothers and sisters to do more.
#6 "Adopt" a convert
If you see any new Muslims at your Masjid, then partially "adopt" them into
your family. The convert experience is basically one of isolation and
loneliness. You'd be surprised to know that most converts are outright
ignored by the people in the Masjid. Beyond a few pleasantries and
handshakes, they are usually never made to feel welcome or accepted. They
are often cut off from their non-Muslim friends and relatives so they are
doubly vulnerable. A new convert should be invited into various peoples home
for dinner a minimum of six times a month. Get together with others and make
sure you all put the new convert on your guest list for any sort of
#7 Give the gift of the Quran
Keep three extra Qur'an translations and some literature in your home at all
times. You never know when you'll find someone interested who wants to know
more. Besides, your children read only and understand only English. (You
wouldn't believe how many Muslim families don't have an English Qur'an
translation in their homes! How will the child read it if they don't
understand Arabic, and they never understand Arabic, even if their parents
are Arabic speaking!)
#8 Go to one convention a year
Even if you have given up on them, you have to go. It's the only way your
children will feel a part of a greater community of believers. Think about
it and realize that you don't just go to a convention for your personal
enrichment. It's about Muslim solidarity. Go to at least one every year.
Couple it with your vacation plans or something. Just go.
#9 Eat only Halal or Kosher Food
Besides all the religious aspects I could mention, which are the most
important, by the way, there is another advantage. You solidify your
identity and introduce to your family the concept that animals should not
die cruelly (like they do in all American slaughterhouses) and that Muslims
eat cleaner food. If there are no Halal meat stores nearby, you'll probably
find a Kosher store. At least many of the Jews are not shy about Allah's
commandment there and have established kosher markets everywhere.
#10 Create an Islamic environment in your home
Lastly, make sure you and your family have cultural-type items in your home
in abundance that are associated with Islam or Islamic culture. Everyone in
your home should have prayer beads, prayer rugs, kufis, Hijabs, (even if
they're worn only for prayer), gowns, posters, wall plaques, stickers,
logo-shirts, Islamic screen-savers on the computer, and on and on. You want
to establish an identity in your home. Everything outside is totally
un-Islamic. At least let the Islamic flavor be present inside.
Originally, there were only ten things on this list, but then a very
important item came to mind but I just couldn't bring myself to delete any
of the preceding items. But in the interest of simplicity, I'll keep the
upper ten intact and mention this item as a separate issue because it's
something that you don't really need to list with the other things.
This is extremely crucial:
Resolve to raise your family as Muslims
Don't be passive. Don't sit around and watch your spouse and children drift
further and further away into disbelief and kufr. Would any of you like to
be on their deathbed and then realize that they only left non-Muslims behind
them? Imagine entering the great sleep with that realization on your heart!
These ten things can be done, with minimal trouble and fuss, by each and
every Muslim family. Through these ten points nearly every purpose of Islam
is served and you can finally feel that you're doing something in an
organized fashion to help promote your healthy way of life and also to
fulfill your responsibility to your Creator. Give it a try and see how easy
these things really are. Then stick with it. You have no excuses for